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Consumer survey highlights effects of cost of living crisis on home improvements

Published: 21 December 2022 - Neil Mead

Tradespeople could see a downturn in custom as more homeowners expect to undertake DIY due to the soaring cost of living, according to research by flooring retailer Factory Direct Flooring (FDF). However, results also bring to the fore other consumer needs, which could be capitalised on.


The survey, of more than 1,000 female homeowners revealed that 81 per cent expect to undertake more home improvement tasks themselves due to the rising cost of living. Nevertheless, with 72 per cent also wanting to feel more confident in undertaking DIY activities and 32 per cent citing their partner is ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to ‘mess up’ a task, there is an opportunity to meet customer needs in new ways. For example, tradespeople could bolster income through tough times with at-home, one-to-one tutorials or a half-and-half approach to elements of a project, therefore helping people to get jobs done but also save a little money.

With only 12 per cent stating they would cut back on home decoration, the other question the results pose is, will homeowners find the time to do it themselves?  

FDF founder Paul Hambidge commented: “The DIY trend really took off during the lockdowns when people had more time on their hands to take on projects and learn new skills – and our research shows 78 per cent of households undertook DIY home improvements during this period. This was certainly reflected in our sales. While our recent research seems to indicate tradespeople could be in for a rocky ride as people choose to save money and do it themselves, the difference to now and 2020 is having spare time and we know three quarters of women surveyed want to feel more confident with tasks.

“Businesses and sole traders open to change have an opportunity to create new services, suited to the current landscape. For instance, hybrid services where the professional undertakes the trickier parts of the job and sets the homeowner tasks, or hands-on, do-and-learn sessions in customers’ homes. Not only could this generate a new stream of revenue for professionals when regular enquiries are down, but also meet the needs of busy people who are not 100 per cent confident of doing a good job themselves.”

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